We have lots of ideas about how our collection can be used in schools but teachers often have their own particular requirements and excellent ideas we haven't thought of yet! We are always looking for new ways to make the collection accessible and relevant to schools, so we are keen to work with others.
We offer teacher placements throughout the school year. These typically include:
an introductory visit to look at resources and begin to form ideas about their use
a full day of support from Archives and Museum staff in locating, selecting and using the collection for schemes of work
an additional day of access to the collection with support as required
It is sometimes possible to arrange funding.
Macaulay C of E Primary School
We worked with a year 6 group and their class teacher. This project was funded by MLA London. For half a term, the students worked on a project called 'Lost and Found' which explored children's well being and the factors that might affect it.
On their visit to Bethlem the students:
- Investigated Bethlem's collection of 1850s photographs of patients and looked at what the photos could tell them before finding the medical notes.
- Handled archive material and did their own investigations in the 19th century casebooks.
- Took part in a workshop around 'The Maze', one of the paintings in Bethlem's collection.
- Recorded their own impressions of the art and artefacts in the museum
Back at school they continued their work:
- In literacy they explored what it would be like to feel lost as a refugee and the stresses this would place on a person's physical and mental health.
- They retold the Christmas story imagining what it would have been like for Mary and Joseph to be refugees in Clapham today.
- In Art they created a modern day version of 'The Maze' showing what might cause a 21st century child stress and anxiety.
- In PSHCE students discussed the possible causes of mental illness and created Power Point presentations to demonstrate their understanding of mental illness and the ways to help those who experienced problems. They invited a Samaritans volunteer to talk to them about active listening and practised using open questions and giving 'verbal hugs'.
What did the students say?
'The visit was a life changing experience.'
'Now I find the hospital understandable and now I'm not scared but I'm starting to understand.'
'I learnt that there are two ways of feeling lost - mentally and physically.'
'I would like to find out more about what Bethlem Hospital does now.'
'I learnt more about people sharing their feelings.'
'I learnt that behind people there is a lot of emotion.'
'The thing that stuck in my mind was all the ways people can be sad and how they show it.'
About the archives and art work:
'The thing that stuck most in my mind was 'The Maze' by William Kurelek.
'The thing that stuck most in my mind was the picture of the person who was anorexic because the colours really showed how the person suffered.'
'The most interesting thing I learnt on the visit was how wonderful a picture can be if you draw your feelings.'
'I liked putting on the white gloves and looking through the archive books.'
Young Cultural Creators
Young Cultural Creators puts together a cultural institution - museum, gallery or archive - with a school, children's author and library service. Guided by the author, students use the collection as inspiration for their own work. We have completed one project with the author Bridget Crowley, Langley Park School for Girls and Bromley Library Service. Our second project involves the author Sherry Ashworth, Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College and Lewisham Library Service.
For more information follow this link.